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Ask an Expert

Welcome to our "Ask an Expert" section. In this section, you can submit a question on any fishing-related topic, such as fishing technique, fish identification, or fishing regulations. We will then forward your questiont to the appropriate individual in the field, such as a fishing guide, fish biologist or fishery manager so it can be answered. Both questions and answers can be found in this section.

Cleft Lip?
A trout with a cleft lip

Q: How often do fish get a cleft lip? I looked on the internet and only from one such case.

My Dad got one the other day at maple lake on the Courtenay side. It being a stocked lake, it was a very interesting catch. We wanted to release it, however it was hooked badly and bled out.

Eric Pickford

A: Hi Eric,

The fish in question is a Fraser Valley triploid catchable rainbow trout. The process to develop this type of fish is a pressure shock at the fertilized egg stage which subjects the egg to a pressure of 9500 psi inside a canister for 5 minutes. The impact of this shock causes the egg to retain 3 sets of chromosomes rather than 2 and renders the fish sterile. In a hatchery environment there is a higher chance of deformities resulting from increased survival, there is also a higher chance of deformities resulting from the 3N process. In the hatchery the fish culturists are routinely checking for deformities and culling these out when identified. It is very difficult to cull out 100% of these fish and consequently some of them do make it to the lakes that are stocked and survive to be caught by anglers. Although these fish may not look very nice there is no health concerns with harvesting one for the table.

Dean Worrall
Assistant manager, Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery

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